At some point in their career path, advisors/agents might look at the success of their peers and wonder, “Why aren’t great things happening for me?” Some examples might be a colleague taking over a multi-million dollar 401K plan or landing a large roll-over or insurance account. While you may believe that luck has something to do with it. The truth is that your actions create your own outcomes.
Chris Grosser said it best when he said, “Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.”
There are a few elements to consider if you want your desired outcomes to actually occur: Consistently, on a daily basis, you need to implement action steps, this includes getting to tasks that you least like first so that you ensure that they get done. Also learning from both your successes AND failures from the past and mapping out ways to maintain what worked and replace what didn’t.
4 Steps to Crafting Your Desired Outcomes
The following discusses some suggestions that I utilize in my professional development and coaching programs. See if you can relate to what the advisor in my example is going through when applying the process yourself.
Step 1: Consistently Implement Action
Most advisors/agents who want better results miss consistently implementing action steps. Take Steve F., a fifteen year veteran client of mine. During our initial session he admitted that although he wanted to have a record year, he rarely prospected because of the anxiety he felt just thinking about getting rejected. It had overwhelmed and swamped his level of success.
I explained that being consistent in tackling items that are most challenging to you will end up reducing anxiety. Avoiding things that make us uncomfortable will keep you blocking your own way every time. I recommended that he trust me and for twenty business days he had to prospect and record his level of anxiety on a scale of 1-10 (1 being lowest and 10 being highest) to determine my theory. He reluctantly agreed but also knew he needed to move out of his comfort zone to forge ahead.
Step 2: Do the First Thing First
At this point, most advisors/agents need to prioritize their tasks and unfortunately and as stated earlier, it’s the least desirable task that must be accomplished first thing.
To ensure that Steve prospected each day as his #1 task, he needed to begin each morning with having a list of people to call, knowing exactly what he was going to say and how to handle the inevitable objections. That way he was prepared as best he could be. He then needed to make a game out of making the calls by trying to contact ten people before 10:00 a.m. If he did that, he got to reward himself in some small way to motivate him to continue conquering that first of the day task.
Step 3: Look for the Lesson
One of the best ways to change a perspective about any undesirable task is to view doing the task as a learning opportunity. After Steve finished prospecting each day, he would record one lesson that he learned. The next day and so forth, he would review the list of lessons he had documented so that it would reinforce positive activity. It didn’t take him long before he started to look forward to adding to his list!
Step 4: Create Accountability
Consistency is important when creating productive new habits and in order to create consistency advisors/agents need accountability. The reason it is so important is because without accountability it is too easy to slip back into unproductive behaviors/actions. I had Steve begin emailing me his level of anxiety before and after prospecting for each of those initial twenty days. I also had him send me his Lessons Learned List each day. In addition, he had to track his appointments set, attended, individuals in his pipeline and any new business that he landed.
Why Crafting Desired Outcomes Works
After those twenty days, Steve had changed his perspective on prospecting. He realized that doing the aforementioned steps helped him redirect his focus from one of fear to one of faith that he could actually obtain his goals. The reason this process worked was simple, he had a stepwise approach and wasn’t winging things or procrastinating or avoiding anymore.